F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

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we are not in a great space here but I wanted to share some of this.    Maybe some of you will recall that my son ran away to his dads in early November. 

my gut feeling at that time was all bad.   So I spent a couple of weeks exhorting the family court to get my son back in my care...to no avail.      

I saw my son 3-4 times in 6 weeks, briefly.  The last time I saw him he wouldn't talk to me other than telling me to b.... off. 

My partner and I were out of town for a long weekend family occasion (our first weekend away for 9 months).   That weekend my son tried to take his own life, which he had apparently planned.  He took an OD and had his dad not found him, he would not be with us now.    He spent some time in ICU and then transferred to psych ward, and then to another hospital which is where he currently is.

It took 3 days for me to see him in hospital, I finally said to the care team that unless they had a *#@* good reason that I couldn't see my son, they better arrange it to happen.  I said I am totally OVER not being allowed to see my son, guys!!   get real. 
So when I saw him it was in a meeting room with the whole care team there, which was very wierd.  

I spent what seemed like a lot of hours of conversations explaining to various consultants that no way was my son to be discharged back to his dad's care, and after discussion it was agreed that he needed to be IP.  

We had a hell transfer to a hospital in another city, via plane, involving half a day of not eating and major stress for him.  

Currently he is in a specialist facility for his age group, with a high risk unit and an ED unit side by side, so he has access to a fairly well integrated care plan.  We were very lucky they had a bed available.  

I have turned into a grizzly bear mom who swipes anyone in the face with my set of bear claws if they even think about making decisions without my input.  It is blatantly obvious to me as it has been for months that my son doesn't have the resources to make decisions that will assist his recovery.  

And it is now patently obvious even to the blindest of blind fools that his dad's ranting about the right to do whatever the heck both of them wanted, was just a smokescreen behind which the ingredients of disaster were stockpiling.

Angry doesn't come close to how I have felt this past week.   And it just shows that sometimes there is just one persons voice against a whole system of cracks and ignorance, one person's voice that could save a life.

The system (health, legal, education) does not even come close to providing safeguards for kids where one parent is actually providing a cover for mental illness to thrive.   

But I am learning that advocating for my son can also be about being in the face of people who are making decisions, just being loud and there and not going away, and repeating myself as many times as I need to.  

My son is currently severely depressed, 6 kg below target, and not even close to understanding why he needs therapy, he's irrational, distressed.  But he is talking to me again a little, and is eating, and has stabilised.  

Every day of the past 6-7 weeks has been a hell I've had to walk through, not knowing what to expect next, often feeling nausea, panic, grief, and other wierd stuff in my own head having to think about what my son was going through without anyone observing that and his dad thinking all was fine and it was totally ok for me to be out of the picture.     It was definitely a planned OD (evidence was found) and he intended to die. 

Mother of 20 y.o. male diagnosed at age 16 with RAN, exercise compulsion, anxiety, depression & SH, FBT 4-5 mths to WR, WR now 3 yrs; suicide attempt 4-6 wks after WR,  IP 4 weeks.  Steady progressive recovery over past 3 years including support from psychologist on general wellbeing. Slow steady steps to success!! 

When your last bow is broken and your last arrow spent, then shoot, shoot with your whole heart
 [Zen saying}
Oh Seabird, what a nightmare of all nightmares you describe.  So glad your s is safe for the moment and that your bear claws are sharpened for the task.  I don't even know what to say other than that you and your s will be in my thoughts.

Hang in there.  

"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
Seabird I have been thinking of you and wondering what was going on, I wish I could do something, please pm me if you can think of anything I can do for you, I am up in Northland.

Sending warm thoughts your way Xx
Son 9yrs when he became unwell 2013, ED slide from April 2014, dx at 10yrs July 2014, 2 hospitalisations - dx so many times Behavioural Anorexia, EDNOS, ARFID. FBT from August 2014. Anxiety, Emetophobia. 13.5yrs old now! In recovery, gets better every day with constant vigilance, life returns.
Seabird, your grizzly bear mama swipes are the love your boy will someday know saved him. A decade ago I was faced with a bizarre side effect that had my fifth grade daughter suffering the symptoms of a brain tumor caused by a rare reaction to Minocycline. Despite her inter cranial pressure being over twice normal I faced another ER doctor in this five week lead up - telling my daughter she had a tension headache. He looked at this mother as he told my daughter she needed to go home and "just have some fun!" It was my grizzly bear day , and within hours a spinal tap had the head neurologist admitting her. You will do this and we will be here to help you know you are on the right track. I'm sending my best wishes to you right now!

A mother here to learn.....
D diagnosed/hospitalized for 2 weeks January 2013 --Accepted as a patient at Kartini Clinic--IOP for 12 weeks--Discharged from Kartini summer of 2014. WR June of 2013--Our daughter embraces recovery and is reclaiming her life with wins large and small!
Oh Seabird,

I am so sorry you are going through this awful time, but we mamabears always know what to do (and fake it when we don't). Your son needs you, which you have known for a long time. He will recover, and return to your loving arms.

Hugs and healing thoughts for your boy, and for you.
A nightmare sounds like an understatement, I am sorry you had to go through this.
So glad to hear your son is safe and your claws are out and people are finally listening, learning and respecting the knowledge of an informed responsible parent.
I wish you both peace and healing.
Many hugs and prayers to you and your son.

He is safe. I am so sorry for all of your pain. Sending healing vibes.
Persistent, consistent vigilance!
What mamabear said.
Son, 17, AN, dx March 2013.
So sorry about this terrible situation. Your s is blessed to have you as his mum xxx
D officially diagnosed April 2014 at age 13 after being hospitalised on a medical ward due to severe restriction. Been refeeding at home, doing FBT through CAMHS. Living life moment by moment
How awful for you, but at the same time maybe dad will finally see how wrong he has been about your S's horrible illness and let you take control.

I am confident that you can turn this around. I like to believe that sometimes it is in fact darkest right before the dawn. I see a dawning on your horizon. Keep going.
You and your son have been on my mind. I am so sorry to hear about what's been happening. This illness is so mind bending many learn the hard way what is actually going on right in front of them - if they ever learn at all. I hope and pray your son's father has learned what this illness is all about.

Your mamabear presence will be essential in the days to come. I can't imagine all you have been going thru I hope things ease up and your son improves.

Do not let anyone come between you and your son - just like a mama bear.
Son diagnosed @ 12.5 yrs old with Severe RAN 2/11. Co-morbids - anxiety, Active restriction for 3 months. He stopped eating completely 2x. He needed immediate, aggressive treatment from a provider who specialized in eating disorders, adolescents and males. We got that at Kartini Clinic. WR since 5/11. 2017 getting ready to graduate slipping lost 8lbs. Fighting our way back.
I am sorry to hear what you are going through seabird but sounds like you are such a strong person -- ROAR!! Go fight for everything he needs. I wish I could help.
Lisa NJ Mom to daughter dx AN (Nov. 2013) at age 10. WR April 2014. ~There is light at the end of the tunnel.~
Dear Seabird,

My thoughts & feelings go out to you!

I hope that the people in the system now start listening to the ed experienced mother!!
ED Dad
Dear Seabird,

I wonder if you will be giving a report to the family court team that got it wrong?

They may or may not listen but it might be heard & they might learn a bit about eating disorders!!
ED Dad
My thoughts are with you at this tough time. He is safe, and hopefully this will be the start of things getting better.
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
You are a strong mom who is doing a wonderful job. Please know we are all behind you. Keep us posted and come back for support. Sending strength.
Diagnosed at 16, relapse at 19, weight restored again and now working on independent eating.
Thank you all so much for your support.  Right now I can't even talk to my own family about events of the past week as I just can't deal with it (talking to them), they haven't been close enough to us to really get what an ED is like.     Plus it's taken every drop of strength to just do what I had to do.    

My son spoke with me from the IP unit on the phone last night, he had a reasonable day (according to the staff) eating his meal plan and participating in the routine of the unit, which was positive.  Also that he could talk to me by phone was good.   However he is still in a very rigid fixated thought pattern basically just wanting me to get him discharged home and very negative about being in IP.   I am being very calm and quiet with him, trying to soothe him and so he feels listened to, but I have to keep telling him he needs to start talking to people around him so that we can understand what's happening in his head so we can help him.

We have a video conf with the IP unit in a couple of days time, then will visit him again after that (before Xmas).  

AussieEDfamily: yes I am totally going to write to the Family Court judge, I've already told the lawyer they appointed for my son, that I think he's incompetent and unethical, he lied to me and I am thinking of making a complaint about him.     

However that can wait, my partner and I need to take some time to recuperate, recharge, regroup over Xmas, we've had such an unrelenting time with moving house as well as trying to keep tabs on my son. 

By the way I think I should tell you that the substance involved in the OD was caffeine - this might sound wierd, but google it and you will see it is a potentially toxic substance readily available.  I'm guessing he came across the idea of it from his obsession with weight training websites, as there are a number of caffeine products that body builders apparently use.     My son ingested an enormous quantity of No-Doz tablets, which he obtained from the supermarket he says.   He could easily have died from the quantity he took, but he started vomiting and his dad came home, found him and took him to ER immediately (5-10 mins drive).  

The lethal effect is likely from cardiac arrest, or possibly seizures.   The medical consultant said that the reason my son survived was due to us re-feeding him to his target weight - had he OD'd when he was severely underweight his heart would not have been strong enough and he would have likely died. 

Please please please if you have doubts of this nature with your own kids, keep the house safe, check their bedrooms, bags etc. Lock all household medicines away, ditto sharps, ditto household poisons such as bleach etc.  

I am a strong person but in a situation like this, having to advocate so strongly for my son, knowing his life and future are on the line every day,  and be there for him knowing him better than the care professionals, it's really really taxing and stressful and disorienting having to be so strong and vigilant and speak out amongst an ever changing guard of health professionals.  I frequently feel like collapsing in a heap, screaming, throwing things, ranting, etc etc.  I guess if I didn't have to fight some of his dad's extremely counterproductive behaviour it might not be quite this hard. 

So am trying to take a few moments to look after myself & my partner, as we both need to be as calm and focused as possible, and not let stress de-rail us. 

Thank you all so much for keeping us in mind, it really does help to know this support is here and you are all helping my son, until he can be in a place where he can help himself. 

sending our love to all of you xx

Mother of 20 y.o. male diagnosed at age 16 with RAN, exercise compulsion, anxiety, depression & SH, FBT 4-5 mths to WR, WR now 3 yrs; suicide attempt 4-6 wks after WR,  IP 4 weeks.  Steady progressive recovery over past 3 years including support from psychologist on general wellbeing. Slow steady steps to success!! 

When your last bow is broken and your last arrow spent, then shoot, shoot with your whole heart
 [Zen saying}
I want to say a whole load of stuff that would be totally unacceptable. You are incredible, I am inspired by your strength. I wonder if his dad is having a rethink about how he is approaching the situation. I can't imagine how you must be feeling. So so very sorry.
D2 RAN as part of Pervasive Refusal Syndrome with a history of not walking for a year and being non verbal for a short while too. Considered to be Aspergers by everyone that has worked with her and by us but still awaiting a diagnosis that'll help us access support services she needs.
D1 recovered RAN and D3 doing pretty well considering the mayhem around here!
I have found, with my D, that her pushing away the very people who love her most, who have stood by her side and who can help her is her way of avoidance, of not facing feelings of inadequacy, etc.  We have had a tough few weeks with her (although it sounds nothing like your recent hardships!) and, despite our urging her to use us for support, she tends to shut down and shut us out.  Your son not talking to you sounds a lot like pushing away the one person that can help him most. And I love your grizzly bear analogy!
Mom to D 21 in November, behaviors started at 15, hospitalized at 16, IP at 17, FBT at almost 18. Finished second year in college; now abroad in treatment program to deal with co-morbids.
Hang in there seabird! You are one fierce mambear. I have heard form various ED patients and parents that pushing a loved-one away can be a cry for help, a sort of an odd challenge to do what needs to be done when they instinctively know that they can't do it themselves. This is one thing I hate most about this disease - that patients, too often, are unable to ask for help and, too often, don't think they even deserve help. Trust your instincts and do not back down from doing what is necessary!


Eating Disorder Parent Advocate
AED Member
Former F.E.A.S.T. Executive Director, 2013-2016

Thank you Leah 

We had a fairly frank discussion yesterday via videoconference with our local care team and the team from the IP facility where my son is currently, including both myself and son's dad.    It was a great opportunity to get some of my concerns out on the table in front of everyone at the same time, and to hear some other ideas from the professionals, around obstacles and options.   IP team have agreed that they need to talk more with us (parents) during our visits there. 

Fortunately son's dad does now appear to realise that significant discussion on management of the various aspects of son's illness, will need to take place and that neither he nor I have all the answers up our sleeve, i.e. son will need to engage in proper therapy and be encouraged to do so.    

So whilst this was just a start, hopefully we will have some better management in place for next year, in the mean time we will visit our son (separately) and spend time with him over the Xmas/New Year period, which will give us both time to discuss the situation with him in an environment where he can't just tell us to buzz off, or walk out. 

Meanwhile I am off to visit him today which involves flying there, fortunately our travel there is health-funded due to the long distance.  

Mother of 20 y.o. male diagnosed at age 16 with RAN, exercise compulsion, anxiety, depression & SH, FBT 4-5 mths to WR, WR now 3 yrs; suicide attempt 4-6 wks after WR,  IP 4 weeks.  Steady progressive recovery over past 3 years including support from psychologist on general wellbeing. Slow steady steps to success!! 

When your last bow is broken and your last arrow spent, then shoot, shoot with your whole heart
 [Zen saying}